Nehru Centre in Worli (Mumbai) is dedicated to Science, Space and Astronomy. Named after India’s first Prime Minister – Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the place was set up way back in 1977. Since then, it is a prominent site for knowledge seekers of astronomy and the universe as a whole. The complex houses an Exhibition hall, Art gallery, Discovery of India, Culture wing and an auditorium apart from the very popular Nehru Planetarium. The centre has been instrumental in conducting many Science quizzes, Contests, Elocutions and Astro quizzes. It is also host to many discussions and lectures among scholars and astronomical professors.
Nehru Planetarium is a favourite spectacle with schools. You are bound to find school children here at any given day. There are 4 daily shows at the planetarium in different languages, namely, Hindi, Marathi and English. The English narrative is at 3pm. Entry tickets are reasonably priced at Rs. 55 for adults and Rs. 30 for children (4 to 12 years). The place is generally packed during holidays and summer vacations, so make sure you book at least a day in advance.
You are allowed to enter the planetarium 15 min prior to the show. This could be a drawback if you turn up early. There is nothing much you can do to kill time except strolling in the small library cum book shop outside. The shop has a decent range of books, charts and puzzles for kids relating to its science theme.
Once you enter the planetarium, you are most likely to be impressed with its set up. Near the entrance there are 5 clocks showcasing time in 5 different countries. A guide will grab the attention of the visitors and enlighten them with trivia about the planetarium. If you find the guide audible, you can listen to him else rush to the spots where you can check your weight on different planets. This spot is the most crowded and you may have to wait a while for your turn every time you want to check your weight on a different planet.
Once the show starts, the sight is almost like you are gazing in the sky and not at the planetarium dome. But after a point the narrative gets monotonous and does not seem knowledge friendly for a lay-man. The scientific terms used in the narrative are difficult to comprehend even for adults, let alone school kids. Chances are, the children don’t bother much about understanding the narrative and are mostly thrilled by the experience of viewing the planetarium sky dome itself.
Another drawback if your show time collides with that of a school group are kids screaming, crying, disturbing or even shouting inside the auditorium. Be prepared, as little is done to avoid these noises.
Photography is allowed inside the center but not in the dome theater, for obvious reasons of flash and noise disturbances in the dark. The center also has a small canteen just behind the planetarium. Snacking options are very basic with the most preferred beverage being a tea or coffee.
In a nutshell
The planetarium is extremely popular among kids. As an adult, it’s a good one time trip. It can be visited during noons to beat the city heat. Make sure you enhance your trip experience by visiting the art gallery, exhibition center and the Discovery of India sections, a few minutes away from the planetarium.
(Note: Ticket prices were correct at the time of writing this blog. It is advised to check their official website for updated information about prices and for any upcoming shows and events)
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